Civil service: A need-driven idea, inspired by empathy from understanding the problems and requirements of the customer could produce ideal civil servants in the country.

In an effort to inculcate a wholesome approach while dealing with the public and to promote a citizen-centric attitude among the civil servants, a three-day workshop on Design Thinking is being held in Thimphu.

The workshop is executed in line with the Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSC) new position of Innovation and Creativity Officer (ICO) which was conceptualised by the commission last year.

The position allows officers in the civil service to create avenues for “out-of-the-box” thinking, which is critical in governance today.

An official from RCSC said that the workshop should equip civil servants and participants from various autonomous agencies to be empathetic and engaging while dealing with their clients and performing their duties.

She said that by the end of the programme participants should develop a curious and analytical mind, a zeal for continuous learning with motivation to improve things in general.

The position was developed following inspiration from His Majesty The King’s Royal address at the 107th National Day celebration in Kanglung where His Majesty highlighted the importance of innovation, creativity and enterprise for the nation’s future.

A total of 120 civil servants from 20 dzongkhags and 10 ministries, including representatives from various autonomous agencies, are taking part in the workshop.

The commission will select the 50 best participants and continue with the programme to select 20 master trainers who will train 100 civil servants in their respective agencies.

RCSC will also prepare a public sector design thinking process guidebook during the course of the programme.

The programme is being conducted by the commission in collaboration with the Singapore Polytechnic and Tamasek Foundation.

Younten Tshedup